Tongue In Cheek Article On Tech Supplies You Should Have On Hand For The End Of Mayan Calendar Apocalypse: I came across a humorous article in the New York Times titled Be Ready for the End of the World, or an Emergency of a Lesser Sort. And in the article the author, Nick Bilton, manages to be both humorous and serious at the same time. He discusses the tech gadgets you should have on hand just in case the end of the Mayan calendar – which occurs tomorrow Friday, December 21, 2012 – should…well…bring about the end of the world. And then the author makes suggestions of tech items that would be helpful to keep on hand in case a natural disaster strikes your area. His suggestions include the usual items one would expect like extra battries, portable generators and a supply of canned foods but also some items I wouldn’t have thought of like a solar lamp, portable water filtration systems, Mylar thermal blankets and a wad of cash for the times when the power is out and you can’t use a credit or debit card to pay for items.

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/technology/personaltech/equipment-for-the-mayan-apocalypse-or-a-lesser-emergency.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&ref=technology&adxnnlx=1356022289-2fktgPGwqjMv1aJei2CXYw

ALA Joins The Owners’ Rights Initiative: The American Library Association (ALA) has joined forces with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), The American Free Trade Association, eBay, Redbox, The Computer and Communications Industry Association, The American Association of Law Libraries and other groups to work toward the goal of allowing consumers to actual be able to buy digital content in the form of e-books, digital movies, digital television shows and music. The organization logo appears on their website and loudly proclaims their ideals on a bright red banner “You bought it. You own it. You have a right to re-sell it;” and that sums up the crux of the matter nicely! Because that is of course what happens with physical materials that you buy – you buy them, you own them and you can sell them or give them away as you wish. And right now you don’t actually own any digital content that you “buy.” Instead, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog postings, when you click that buy button on Amazon or iTunes to purchase a movie, television show or song you’re not actually buying the item itself you’re buying a license to access the content – it is as if the digital items are all software – say versions of Microsoft Word. And member of The Owners’ Rights initiative believe that digital content should be treated just like its physical counterparts; so just as you really own a printed book, DVD or CD that you purchase you should be able to really buy and own digital content and then give it to someone else or sell it later if you wish to.

Just to reiterate the point (and I’ll only step up on my soap box for a minute – I promise!) media companies have a current business model that supposes that digital content should be treated like software and thus consumers pay to access the content but they don’t own it and can’t sell it, give it away or easily loan it to someone else. ORI is working to change that business model and of course this entire issue is a gray one legal wise because the technology has changed so fast the copyright laws haven’t kept up with those changes. So the issue of the rights of owners of digital content is a huge one that you’ll be hearing a great deal about in the near future.

And ORI has a website where you can go and access a list of all the members of the ORI, sign up to receive the ORI newsletter or just see what the entire issue is all about in a more in-depth way. Here’s the link:

http://ownersrightsinitiative.org/

References

Bilton, Nick. (2012, December 19). Be Ready for the End of the World, or an Emergency of a Lesser Sort. New York Times. Online.

Library Association Joins Owners’ Rights Imitative. (2012, November 5). Library Hotline.

Owners’ Rights initiative. (2012, December 20). Online. 

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